Four Reasons to Conduct a Marketing SWOT

Today’s One Minute Marketing Minute: Four Reasons to Conduct a Marketing SWOT

Here are four reasons to conduct a Marketing SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats analysis) right now with our Marketing Coach service.

Reason 1: Reset Your 2020 Plan – Marketing SWOT Helps You Plan for the New Reality

It’s time to reset your marketing and selling. A lot has happened in 2020, a pandemic and now into a recovery begs the question, “What do you need to be doing differently now?” The Marketing SWOT helps you answer that question and understand what changes you need to make.

Reason 2: Uncover Gaps – What is Missing in Your Marketing Process?

The Marketing SWOT uncovers gaps in your marketing and selling process and informs how to think about how to fill those gaps to make your marketing more effective.

The Marketing Coach Stephen Eckert Virtual VP of Marketing Author: ‘Genius! Marketing’ and
 ‘Marketing in a Downturn’ books Developed Genius! Marketing 
 planning process Helps business owners 
 Organize, Optimize and 
 Operationalize MarketingReason 3: Reallocate Resources – Focus on New Opportunities

There are new opportunities for growth. Where do you put your resources – your time, your energy and your marketing dollars? The Marketing SWOT helps you uncover where the opportunities are focus where resources should go.

Reason 4: Move to Action – Prioritize to Maximize Your Marketing

Marketing SWOT is the first step to moving to action. At Genius! Marketing we are always about the action plan. What is the first priority when it comes to your marketing? What are the top one, two or three things we need to do right now to maximize your marketing? The Marketing SWOT will help you understand what the priorities are for your marketing in the next normal. You can start to develop an action plan out of the Marketing SWOT analysis.

Get started now! Purchase a Marketing SWOT coaching program.

Reset Your marketing

The Marketing SWOT helps you take stock of the current situation in and outside your organization and inform your next Marketing Plan. Learn more and purchase your Marketing SWOT coaching plan here. Or schedule a complimentary call to discuss your situation.

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Today’s one minute marketing topic is Marketing SWOT

SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. It’s an old school way to quickly inform a planning process. Marketing SWOT targets your marketing to uncover gaps and ways to optimize your marketing. 

When considering your company’s recovery and go-forward plan, now is a great time to tap into this analysis. SWOT can help you quickly assess your marketing. There are many questions that can be asked, but these are a quick start to a marketing SWOT analysis.

Featured Coaching: Marketing SWOT for Your Business – work with us on a SWOT analysis

Focusing on Internal Issues

Strengths and weaknesses usually focus on internal or organizational matters.

Marketing Strengths

  • What advantage(s) does our company have over competitors?
  • What unique attributes – or unique selling proposition – do we have?
  • What is our marketing and sales team’s strengths?

Marketing strengths should focus on what your organization does well and what is unique about your organization, brand, product or offer.

Marketing Weaknesses

  • What complaints do we hear from customers? Objections from prospects?
  • How much voice do we have in the market? Do people hear and see our message?
  • Are our marketing resources aligned properly? Or do we just do the same things we always have done?

Often, one of the biggest weaknesses organizations face is lack of process in marketing. Consider where your process needs improvement.

Focusing on External Issues

Opportunities and Threats usually focus on external matters such as market and competition. 

Marketing Opportunities

  • How is the competition doing? What are they missing?
  • Has the market changed? Are prospects looking for something new or different?
  • What new means of communicating with prospects is available?

Now is an excellent time to assess how the market is changing. While not wanting to “steer the ship” based on competitor direction only, it can help guide a competitive or a niche marketing plan.

Marketing Threats

  • Is our target market growing? Or shrinking? Or just moving and changing?
  • Could predicted cultural changes and resulting buyer behavior affect our sales?
  • What new competitors or new offers are entering the market?

Businesses are often caught off guard by unforeseen market shifts. Now it is clear the market, buyer behavior… everything is shifting. Take the time to consider what is occurring and where it might lead.

Featured Coaching: Marketing SWOT for Your Business – low cost, quick turnaround – get started now

Marketing SWOT: a Good Starting Point

Discussion around these starting points (there are many more SWOT questions that could be asked) will help direct the development of an updated marketing plan. Now is the time to address your organization’s offering, market and sales plan to be ready to move forward. SWOT as part of that process can help you uncover issues and be flexible and responsive as an organization.

Why S.W.O.T.? 1. Quick assessment 2. Inform updated marketing plan 3. Move quickly to action 4. Help responsiveness to market Genius! geniusmarketing.comWhy Marketing SWOT?

Take the time to work through your marketing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This course will include a self-assessment prior to the first of two coaching sessions.

The result of the coaching will be actionable ways to improve your organization’s marketing by finding new ways to engage your current and future customers, understanding gaps in your current plan, and more. Ready to get started? Sign up for Marketing SWOT coaching program.

Not ready? Schedule a complimentary prep call to discuss your situation.

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Marketing Around the Steps to the Sale

Today’s one minute marketing tip is Organizing Your Marketing Around the Steps to the Sale.

In a previous video and blog we presented the need to map the steps to the sale. Our example steps are:

  • Offer
  • Lead Generation
  • Follow up Contact
  • Education of Prospect/Confirmation of Interest
  • Sales Call
  • Discovery/Information Gathering
  • Confirmation of Scope
  • Proposal
  • Negotiation
  • Closed Sale

Benefits of Mapping the Sales Process

Steps to the Sale What is your sales process? Offer Lead Generation Follow up contact. Education/Confirmation of interest, Sales Call Discovery, Confirmation of Scope Proposal Negotiation Closed SaleOnce these steps are determined, it is much easier to manage the sales process and support it with marketing. There are a number of benefits including the ability to track the number of prospects moving through each step to the sale. This data can inform planning and sales projections, as well as budgeting for marketing. Those subjects are covered in other blogs and videos including our course on using the sales goals for each step in the sales process to determine the budget for marketing around the steps to the sale.

Aligning Marketing Around the Steps to the Sale

Next, understand how marketing (and other departments) touch the process of a sale. Looking at each step, what marketing and communications support the step?

It might look something like this:

  • Offer: Advertising, Social Media, Enewsletter
  • Lead Generation: Web forms, Contests, 800 number, Outbound
  • Follow up Contact: Value Proposition, Spec Sheets, Case Histories
  • Education of Prospect/Confirmation of Interest: Email series, Videos, FAQs
  • Sales Call: CRM, Sales Sheet, Product Samples
  • Discovery/Information Gathering: Testimonials, Questionnaires, Tours
  • Confirmation of Scope: Spec Sheets, Tech Review
  • Proposal: Support Documentation
  • Negotiation: Reviews, Optional Add-Ons
  • Closed Sale: Onboarding Kit

Offer: Advertising, Social Media, Enewsletter Lead Generation: Web forms, Contests, 800 number, Outbound Follow up Contact: Value Proposition, Spec Sheets, Case Histories Education of Prospect/Confirmation of Interest: Email series, Videos, FAQs  Sales Call: CRM, Sales Sheet, Product Samples Discovery/Information Gathering: Testimonials, Questionnaires, Tours Confirmation of Scope: Spec Sheets, Tech Review Proposal: Support Documentation Negotiation: Reviews, Optional Add-Ons Closed Sale: Onboarding KitOrganizing your marketing around the steps to the sale ensures you are supporting the sales process and integrating the marketing and sales effort. While many companies rely on the salesperson to usher a prospect through the sales process, marketing can help drive the movement when integrated with the sales team’s effort.

Questions to Ask About Your Marketing

Take the time to map your sales process and the marketing around the steps to the sale. Are there gaps? How can marketing better pull the prospect to the next step to the sale?

Integrated marketing and sales help make a more efficient and effective process that can result in more prospects moving more quickly through the sales pipeline.

Let’s review together your list of marketing around the steps to the sale. Schedule a free consultation call today. We can help you develop your marketing plan to support sales. Read more from our blog here or watch videos on YouTube.

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Display Network Advertising

Today’s one minute marketing tip is about Digital Advertising and display network advertising. 

I was asked recently about online display network advertising. That’s having ads with graphics and text that are clickable to a website or landing page with an offer or more information. They appear on websites, social media, and in apps.

An Integrated Digital Plan with Display Network Advertising

Display network advertising is only one of multiple digital strategies that are effective when integrated and correctly applied to meet the advertiser’s sales and financial goals. We’ll go over a few of the digital tools here, there are others… schedule a call to discuss your situation.

Using display network advertising alone is like saying about traditional advertising: “I only use ads on one radio station”. It can be effective to a point but it is not an integrated advertising plan. 

Other Digital Tactics to Integrate

A few of the other digital tactics that work in tandem with display are Pay Per Click or PPC ads (what are typically thought of as Google search results ads), re-targeting or re-marketing ads (which are typically thought of as those annoying ads that follow you around after you visit a website), Over the Top or OTT video (which is advertising through streaming services that target both cable subscribers that are using streaming devices and cordcutters with ads during video and movie content), and On-site Search Engine Optimization (which – among other things – is consistently posting relevant content, video and more to your website to move higher in Google organic search results). And there are other digital tactics as well. 

Define a Goal, Budget, Message and Call to Action… a Plan!

The key to advertising success in any media is having a plan which includes a defined goal, a budget, a good message, and a clear call-to-action. 

The key to advertising in the digital display space is applying the above plus having a fast fulfillment of the call-to-action once the prospect clicks the ad. The website must fulfill their interest immediately. So whether it is display network advertising or another tactic, build a solid and easy offer or step to the sale. 

Learn the Ropes or Get Help to Manage Digital

It can be difficult to manage digital because of the constantly changing landscape online, but there are many resources to provide help including consultants like Genius Marketing or simply online support from providers like Google. 

Schedule a time to discuss your online strategy. It’s a free consultation to help you optimize your marketing. Watch more video on YouTube.

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Steps to the Sale

Today’s one minute marketing topic is Steps to the Sale – mapping the sales process

When talking with business owners about their sales process, I’ll ask for a list of steps that prospects move through, ending with closing the sale. The company’s sales process or as I call it, steps to the sale, is usually a short list, such as shown in Figure 1: Lead Generation, Sales Call, Proposal, Closed Sale. 

Steps to the Sale What is your sales process? Lead Generation Sales Call Proposal Closed Sale

Figure 1

Steps to Sales What is your sales process? Offer Lead Generation Follow up contact. Education/Confirmation of interest, Sales Call Discovery, Confirmation of Scope Proposal Negotiation Closed Sale

Figure 2

Once we begin to discuss the sales process in more detail, steps that were overlooked or not mentioned are uncovered. The process usually starts to look something more like Figure 2 reflecting the full measure of steps need to close a sale.

Unpacking these steps is critical to effectively plan your marketing. Marketing and sales need to be integrated throughout the process to most efficiently move the prospect through the steps to the sale. 

Further discussion is required to build out the process specifically for the purpose of understanding how marketing and other parts of the company operation touch and support the steps to the sale. We’ll cover that in a separate blog and video.

Map out your sales process – list all of the activities that your company completes to close a sale. It’s a great tool for managing sales, training new staff and for our discussion, building the marketing to support the sales process. Let’s review your list together. Schedule a free consultation call.

We’ll review your steps and answer any questions you have about your marketing.

Watch our other videos on YouTube including how to plan for a post-pandemic recovery, a Marketing SWOT and other topics to help you with your marketing. At any time if you need help, contact us about how we can help you reach your marketing goals and drive more sales through effective marketing. Set up a free call today.

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Second Half Recovery Act

Today’s one minute marketing topic is Second Half Recovery Act – creating a recovery marketing plan

That’s not a new government program, it’s your own plan for rebuilding business in the second half of 2020. We added the word “act” to the name because this will require action on your part and on the part of your team. We’re here to help build a recovery plan and help you act upon it.

One Minute Marketing Tips

If you’ve followed my One Minute Marketing Tips, you’ve considered that the pandemic has changed the market, the buyer and your organization. It’s time to develop a recovery plan for the second half of 2020 that considers these facts and positions your company and its offering for success.

Start with SWOT

First, walk through a Marketing SWOT to determine where you stand, this is a critical first step to building a revised plan for your marketing (or getting your marketing organized for the first time!). With a Marketing SWOT you can begin to drive to the innovations that are necessary for your company to succeed.

While many feel that the worst is over (at least in the first wave) of COVID-19, there is no doubt that marketing and selling (and just about everything else) has changed. It’s time to get serious about digital, about video and about your new sales process.

The Next Normal

I have a friend who told me, “It’s not the new normal, it’s the next normal…”. Implying that while things have settled a bit right now as far as the way business is conducted, it could change again very quickly. That’s why digital is so important. Because no matter where you are or what changes come to your business, you can quickly adjust your messaging and your activity online to meet the next normal.

Take the Time Create a Recovery Plan

Developing a marketing plan takes time, but not that much time. In fact, we can develop a Second Half Recovery Act Plan in as little as a week. The key is focusing on what matters and developing a handful of integrated activities that can get your organization’s sales team in front of prospects.

The details of the plan are unique to your company, but the method for developing and implementing the plan are well defined and I can walk you through them. We can develop a plan your organization can implement for Q3 and 4 of 2020.

If you would like to discuss your crisis communications plan or your recovery marketing plan, we would love to help. In fact, you can send us a question and we’ll provide our best advice – no cost, no obligation. Or schedule a phone consultation now to assess your situation.

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SWOT One Minute Marketing Tip

Today’s one minute marketing topic is SWOT for your marketing 

SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. It’s an old school way to quickly inform a planning process. 

When considering your company’s recovery and go-forward plan, now is a great time to tap into this analysis. SWOT can help you quickly assess your marketing. There are many questions that can be asked, but these are a quick start to a marketing SWOT analysis.

Focusing on Internal Issues

Strengths and weaknesses usually focus on internal or organizational matters.

Marketing Strengths

  • What advantage(s) does our company have over competitors?
  • What unique attributes – or unique selling proposition – do we have?
  • What is our marketing and sales team’s strengths?

Marketing strengths should focus on what your organization does well and what is unique about your organization, brand, product or offer.

Marketing Weaknesses

  • What complaints do we hear from customers? Objections from prospects?
  • How much voice do we have in the market? Do people hear and see our message?
  • Are our marketing resources aligned properly? Or do we just do the same things we always have done?

Often, one of the biggest weaknesses organizations face is lack of process in marketing. Consider where your process needs improvement.

Focusing on External Issues

Opportunities and Threats usually focus on external matters such as market and competition. 

Marketing Opportunities

  • How is the competition doing? What are they missing?
  • Has the market changed? Are prospects looking for something new or different?
  • What new means of communicating with prospects is available?

Now is an excellent time to assess how the market is changing. While not wanting to “steer the ship” based on competitor direction only, it can help guide a competitive or a niche marketing plan.

Marketing Threats

  • Is our target market growing? Or shrinking? Or just moving and changing?
  • Could predicted cultural changes and resulting buyer behavior affect our sales?
  • What new competitors or new offers are entering the market?

Businesses are often caught off guard by unforeseen market shifts. Now it is clear the market, buyer behavior… everything is shifting. Take the time to consider what is occurring and where it might lead.

SWOT: a Good Starting Point

Discussion around these starting points (there are many more SWOT questions that could be asked) will help direct the development of an updated marketing plan. Now is the time to address your organization’s offering, market and sales plan to be ready to move forward. SWOT as part of that process can help you uncover issues and be flexible and responsive as an organization.

If you would like to discuss your crisis communications plan or your recovery marketing plan, we would love to help. In fact, you can send us a question and we’ll provide our best advice – no cost, no obligation.

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Innovate: One Minute Marketing Tip

Today’s One Minute Marketing topic is Innovate… a crisis recovery tip

I once heard a keynote from Gordon Mackensie, a creativity expert at Hallmark Cards. He said companies can be like tanker trucks. They have baffles which keep the liquid inside from sloshing about and making the truck unstable. He argued that baffles are great in tanker trucks but organizations have baffles that keep them from unleashing creativity and innovation. 

Your Organization is Innovative

Over the last two months, everyone has had to be creative, innovative and just plain flexible. Many baffles were removed from organizations so they could keep operating during the pandemic. 

How can you continue this level of innovation? Necessity is the mother of invention. Can recovery be the mother of innovation? 

Take an Indepth Debrief

Here are a few steps to consider how your marketing, or other parts of your organization can continue to innovate after the crisis. Consider an in-depth debrief to look at and utilize the learning from the crisis.

  1. Operations – what processes existing or new (due to the crisis) resulted in innovation? In doing things differently? Can those processes remain in place? Be built upon to deliver more or better for your customers…
  2. Mindset – the crisis changed how we work physically. How did it change us mentally? What new ways of thinking about our organization, our work, our communication can we continue? 
  3. Customers – how has the market shifted due to the crisis? What did we deliver differently during the crisis for our customers? Do they need something different as they work to recover and continue life after the crisis? 

Recovery with a New Focus

By focusing on the innovations made during the crisis and considering how to maintain or further develop that innovative spirit, your organization can build something new and different that meets the needs of the very different world that will exist post pandemic. 

Now is the time to see what the creativity and flexibility of your staff and your market could mean for the future of your marketing and your organization. 

If you would like to discuss your crisis communications plan or your recovery marketing plan, we would love to help. In fact, you can send us a question and we’ll provide our best advice – no cost, no obligation.

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Make it easy: One Minute Marketing Tip

Today’s One Minute Marketing topic is Make it easy… a crisis communications tip

At any time your brand needs to make it easy to buy. Or connect, engage, respond. Whatever it is you are trying to accomplish with your marketing. 

In a crisis, this is even more important. People are distracted, pre-occupied. Your communications need to be direct, easy to understand and have a call to action that is easy to do. You are asking people to take their time and effort to engage with you. So make it easy. Especially in a time when people have so many serious things on their mind. 

One Step Action

What you want to avoid is a second step: if you provide a click, the link better be to the exact information or offer you promised. No scrolling, no looking for a clue… it has to be there.

If you’re providing a phone number, it better answer or have a message that pays off the offer. No “leave a message in the general mailbox” or “our system has changed please listen carefully…”. Live or on voicemail, a phone number should answer “If you’re calling about our XYZ offer, you’ve called the right place…” and then go on from there with providing the information about the offer. 

Immediate Action

People need immediate direct action or they are moving on. Provide an easy one step process to make sure people feel connected and are confident you know what they want or need. 

No matter how compelling you think your product or service is, it’s not worth five clicks or trying to navigate an endless phone tree. Connect your prospect immediately to what they want. Every time. And especially in a crisis. 

If you would like to discuss your crisis communications, we would love to help. In fact, you can send us a question and we’ll provide our best advice – no cost, no obligation.

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Get Creative: One Minute Marketing Tip

Today’s One Minute Marketing topic is Get Creative… a crisis communications tip

You have to love the creativity of people. Whether the latest work from home memes or figuring out a way to hold a 100 year old’s birthday party while social distancing, creativity makes us laugh, feel connected, and more.

Can You Be Creative?

How creative is your company? Not talking about funny memes, but rather what can your brand do to develop a creative solution or experience for customers and consumers during this crisis?

A Roadblock to Creativity

Here’s one big roadblock for creativity: inward focus. If you are focused on your own problems and issues, it is difficult to be creative about customer solutions.

What Does the Target Customer Need?

This is a great time to go back to what should be a part of every marketing plan: the target customer. Some call it personas – meaning a description (and often image or photo) of a “typical customer”.

Review the attributes of your target customer. What are they feeling? What are they dealing with? What do they need? What do they wish they had?

As you do this, ideas will start to come… you may begin to see connection points between your offering and the particular needs of customers in the current environment. Perhaps it is different delivery schedule, extended terms or unpacking the full offering into a piece that is most needed now. Maybe it is contacting your customer differently to make them aware of the new ideas.

Ask for Help

If you are struggling to come up with ideas, have a group chat with staff. Or ask your best customers for what they need and ideas about how your organization could help.

In a crisis you can’t give away the store, but some creative ideas can help you deliver for your customers in ways you normally wouldn’t or couldn’t.

Now is the time to get creative – get your team together, or ask your customers. See where you can provide value in a time of need.

Get Creative with Your Marketing

If you would like to discuss your crisis communications, we would love to help. In fact, you can send us a question and we’ll provide our best advice – no cost, no obligation.

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