Everyone in the audience at the talk I gave the day before yesterday, on Social Media for Small Business, was keen to learn about what social media can do, and use it in their business.
But I made one point repeatedly – possibly to the point of being annoying – because I believe it is vital. Before they get stuck into using LinkedIn, tweeting and blogging, they need to sort something else out first.
I used this rough diagram to show how you could possibly depict the wide range of marketing activities you could use. It’s not intended to include every marketing technique, and you might want to quibble as to where each activity is placed.
But the diagram does show that, depending on what you’re trying to say, and who you’re trying to reach, you should probably choose some activities rather than others.
And that’s the point I wanted to hammer home. Figuring out your strategy always has to be done before you choose your tactics. Without a coherent marketing strategy within your business plan, you’ll waste money saying ineffective things to the wrong people.
Your marketing strategy needs to have a carefully honed value proposition at its heart, and be based on really good analysis of what you will need to do to differentiate yourself from your competitiors – so that you can win and retain the customers you want.
So, please … strategy before tactics, every time.