The first step in creating a marketing program is to establish a goal or goals. These could be as broad as “increase business income” or as narrow as “increase membership by 20% ,” or “create 10% increase in corporate account income.”

The second step is to define the target audience.  What does the ideal client or customer look like?  If we can identify our audience we can find it, and if we can find it we can engage it. 

Thirdly we look to determine how we can contact, engage and convince this audience of the value offered.. There are a wide variety of strategies for this starting with existing clients or customers and identifying the ways in which we can identify them in groups. 

Armed with goals, a target audience, and as much contact information as possible, a marketing activity plan is created in which each aspect meets one or more of the following goals: inform, amplify, engage, and nurture. Put another way: marketing reaches new customers, drives repeat business, nurtures relationships, and engages both new and existing customers and referral sources.

The process can be divided into four streams:

1. Getting found – including the web site optimized for search engines, and connected to local directories and relevant partners. Recent changes show that a majority of visitors are viewing from mobile devices so sites should be of “responsive design” to be easily viewed. Social media support visibility and provide engaging content. Google local, local web sites, and reciprocal links all contribute to getting found and recognized as of value.

2. Engage the audience – The internet allows interactivity and this has created the potential for relationship. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and many other social media offer the basis for conversation. Once a person engages with you they are far more likely to use your services.

3. Drive action – marketing is activity which results in a measurable and physical response. It is an active rather than passive process. Offers and promotions, feedback and survey programs, newsletters and announcements with calls to action, are activities which spur people to act.

4. Analytics – simply finding business improves is insufficient to direct future efforts. Tracking results of efforts directs campaign changes to maximize revenue at minimum cost in time and money.

Activities

  1. Definition – Goals, clients, the aspects of your organization which make you stand out from the competition. 


2. Create/edit web site for maximum reach to ideal customer. Some suggestions include testimonials, FAQs for questions such as cost, pick up and delivery, business services, easy to follow directions, video by one or both of you showing services and creating identity, add discount coupon for first time customers, and one for returning ones.

3 Optimize web site for search engines, establish a Google local listing, establish friends page of local partners and exchange links with complementary businesses, submit site to search engines such as AOL, and local and regional directories, add site to service directories for the region.

4 Identify existing and past customers and gather email addresses. Build email list of potential business sources. Provide value to existing and potential clients with mailings of value (furniture tips, deals, links to auctions, and curated content from sites such as Scoopit and Reddit).

5. Create a HTML marketing newsletter with content and calls to action. 

6. Create social media accounts and a plan to provide content to each audience. Facebook reaches one type of audience, Twitter reaches another, LinkedIn reaches businesses, interest groups, Pintrest will reach yet another. Use a marketing content manager program to structure and schedule content in efficient ways.

7. Engage and nurture – Using social media, surveys, polls, twitter responses, Facebook postings, linkedin connections, and others talk with your customer base. The most effective marketing tool of all is the people with whom you have done business. Create ‘customer delight” so that they will tell others either personally or via social media (as in “going viral). 


8. Analyze and revise - Evaluate the success of each effort and use the data to modify future efforts.