Being a small business coach and consultant, as well as a small business owner myself for many years now, one thing I clearly understand is that most small businesses simply aren’t fortunate enough to have an unlimited supply of marketing dollars.
Money for marketing is typically tight.
Therefore, to squeeze the most results out of those marketing dollars, a small business must carefully plan, craft, and implement all marketing initiatives they choose to run with.
Since marketing should never be a one-time thing, I like to batch my marketing into campaigns—marketing campaigns with tangible goals that I can measure. Otherwise, how do we know if our marketing efforts have been successful or not?
That being said, I’d like to share with you a portion of my marketing planning process that I revisit at the onset of any marketing campaign I engage in; Whether for my business or any of my client’s businesses!
It’s what I call the “5 W’s of Marketing”. The 5 W’s are simply the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “why” of your marketing, and they are as follows:
The First "W": The "Who"
In a nutshell, this is your target market-–this is who you intend to sell your products and services to.
So, who are they exactly?
Who are you going to market to?
The Second "W": The "What"
What exactly are the products and/or services you are marketing?
And what are the benefits they bring?
If you’re not crystal clear on what you’re really selling, there’s a good chance your target market won’t be either…
And a confused mind does not buy!
The Third "W": The "When"
When it comes to marketing, both timing and consistency are critical. A casual marketing approach simply won’t cut it.
So when do you intend to start marketing your product and/or service?
How long do you intend your marketing campaign to last?
A common understanding among marketers is that it takes at least four touches or contacts with your target market to get on their radar—And at least 7 for them to consider buying from you! Therefore, planning at least seven touches into your marketing campaigns probably makes sense.
Now it’s also essential to determine at what intervals you will make each touch.
In other words, on day 1, you’ll get in front of your target market this way… day 3, you’ll get in front of them that way… day 7, this way… and so on.
Rule of thumb: erratic marketing = erratic results… consistent marketing = consistent results!
The Fourth "W": The "Where"
These are the marketing mediums that you will use for your marketing campaign.
Marketing mediums are simply the paths we use to communicate our marketing messages to our target market.
So, where will you do your marketing?
What mediums will you use and why?
What mediums does your target market prefer?
Knowing how your target market prefers to communicate can go a long way here.
The Fifth "W": The "Why"
The “why” is your purpose for marketing.
It defines what you expect to accomplish from your marketing campaign efforts.
So in Closing...
I’m going to be a bit harsh here, so hold on to your seat for a moment.
Conducting marketing campaigns without being clear on your 5 W’s is essentially negligence—It’s a blatant misuse of your company’s time and money!
My challenge to you is to take the necessary 15 minutes to think through, document, and communicate the 5 W’s of each marketing campaign with all those involved in helping you make it happen!