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Marketing Consultancy Process

AUDIT

STRATEGY

IMPLEMENT

SUPPORT

AUDIT

STRATEGY

IMPLEMENT

SUPPORT

Even the most complex structures are nothing without a framework

A reliable and trusted framework is key to the success of any type of project, including marketing, and whether we’re working together on an individual campaign or developing the full range of requirements for your ongoing business marketing needs, the framework will hold everything together.

Marketing frameworks exist for every type of business and scenario, but they are flexible and can vary according to individual needs. They’re an essential tool for holding the stages of marketing together and provide a set of parameters for us to work within to control expected outcomes.

However, getting your business marketing on track and moving forward at a pace is not a five-minute fix; it’s a staged process that takes time, effort and commitment on both sides.

In the short term, some quick wins will create interest to engage potential customers and re-engage existing customers. These include email newsletters and more general social media posts.

In the long term, the goal is to make yours the go-to brand; the one people think of when they need your company’s products or services.

AUDIT: Understanding where you are right now

Many businesses put content out into the marketplace in a random way without considering how their messaging lands or whether the effect it has on the reader will be negative or positive.

Websites are a key indicator of this and, regardless of how much they cost, frequently do more harm than good from a user experience and compliance perspective. It’s strange and all too common that business website owners rarely look at their own website and certainly don’t test basic functionality, such as whether or not the enquiry form is working.

Mobile browsing is commonplace, yet it remains more of an issue for websites than it should be because not all websites work well on mobile devices. Most people visit websites on a mobile phone or tablet, so it’s a crucially important area not to overlook.

Marketing Audit Process

Areas covered by the Audit

Marketing Audit Process

Areas covered by the Audit

Many businesses put content out into the marketplace in a random way without considering how their messaging lands or whether the effect it has on the reader will be negative or positive.

Websites are a key indicator of this and, regardless of how much they cost, are frequently doing more harm than good from a user experience and compliance perspective. It’s a strange phenomenon that business website owners rarely look at their own website and certainly don’t test basic functionality, such as whether or not the enquiry form is working.

Mobile browsing is commonplace, yet it remains more of an issue for websites than it should be because not all websites work well on mobile devices. Given that the majority of people visit websites on a mobile phone or tablet, it’s a crucially important area not to overlook.

From a technical perspective, plenty can go wrong on a website especially as internet browsers are updated (which they are constantly). Do your website’s menus display and function as they should? Are video files still playing ok? Are any internal or external links broken? The most crucial function of a business website is the contact form. It’s also the most common point of failure, but nobody thinks to check if the form is always working and always sending enquiries.

Visually it’s about the brand and messaging because as your business evolves, the website needs to continually and accurately represent what the business does and what it stands for.

Being oblivious to these basics is pretty shocking, but it’s understandable as maintaining a business website is often just another thing to do – another plate to keep spinning – when you’re trying to run a business. And as humans, we’re very good at putting off the things we don’t fully understand.

The marketing audit will look objectively at your website and overall online presence in other channels, including social media, from every angle. The audit tries not to be judgemental or opinionated, but it will be informative, sometimes shocking, and always a wake-up call.

STRATEGY: A clear line of sight to where you want to be.

As a business owner, pretty well everything you do to create awareness of your products and services comes under the marketing banner.

If you run a small, lifestyle business that keeps you engaged 24/7 and pays for what you need (not much of what you want), then your current marketing activity is most likely keeping a regular flow of customers coming in to fund your lifestyle, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll have an end goal in mind or a growth plan.

That’s not a crime, but it doesn’t make the longer-term future look rosy either, and you only have to look along an average high street to see that the majority of small businesses operate in exactly the same way.

Strategy Process Flow

As a business owner, pretty well everything you do to create awareness of the products and services you provide comes under the banner of marketing.

If you run a small, lifestyle business that keeps you engaged 24/7, pays for what you need (not much of what you want), then your current marketing activity is most likely keeping a regular flow of customers coming in to fund your lifestyle, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll have an end goal in mind or a plan for growth.

That’s not a crime, but it doesn’t make the longer-term future look rosy either, and you only have to look along an average high street to see that the majority of small businesses operate in exactly the same way.

Strategy Process Flow

However, if you do have a growth mindset and plan to break out of the lifestyle rut, or you already run a bigger, more successful business and are continually developing it into a larger, self-sustaining enterprise, then you’ll know you need a marketing strategy.

A marketing strategy will give your growth plans momentum and drive as everything you do, especially online, will be carefully crafted and have a predetermined purpose and expected outcome.

A marketing strategy will help you to:

  • be clear about what you do
  • better understand the competition
  • position your brand
  • identify marketing opportunities
  • set and agree on budgets
  • create fresh, new content
  • build website & marketing platforms
  • process feedback and reporting
  • be clear about what you do
  • better understand the competition
  • position your brand
  • identify marketing opportunities
  • set and agree on budgets
  • create fresh, new content
  • build website & marketing platforms
  • process feedback and reporting

Even if you currently have only a reasonably clear idea of where you want to take your business and the goals you want to achieve with it, then a marketing strategy will align with these your broader goals and set a course for how to create awareness, engage people and grow the business by developing your customer base.

IMPLEMENT: Moving from thinking and planning to doing.

Content Distribution Wheel

Content Distribution Wheel

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘content is king’ at some point in your life. No? Well, it’s true anyway; content really is king.

Content is everything people read about your business; everything on, or in, your website, your social media posts, your newsletters, your advertising, brochures and… everything other people say about you in their reviews and write-ups about your business.

So whilst content is not the be-all and end-all of a marketing strategy, it’s a significant element because it’s the foundation of everything we do, internally and externally which will fundamentally change the success of the organisation.

As the marketing strategy defines the path for how to develop your business, clarify its purpose, style and direction, all aspects of content must remain positive, on-brand and consistent throughout in the way it talks about your business, across the multitude of channels available for distribution.

Content Distribution Wheel

Content Distribution Wheel

Content Distribution Wheel

Content Distribution Wheel

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘content is king’ at some point in your life. No? Well, it’s true anyway; content really is king.

Content is everything people read about your business; everything on, or in, your website, your social media posts, your newsletters, your advertising, brochures and… everything other people say about you in their reviews and write-ups about your business.

So whilst content is not the be-all and end-all of a marketing strategy, it’s a significant element because it’s the foundation of everything we do, internally and externally which will fundamentally change the success of the organisation.

As the marketing strategy defines the path for how to develop your business, clarify its purpose, style and direction, all aspects of content must remain positive, on-brand and consistent throughout in the way it talks about your business, across the multitude of channels available for distribution.

It’s tough to continually create a flow of fresh, new content without the resources of an in-house marketing team, so outsourcing to a Copywriter is one solution, but they need managing by someone who fully understands, and is intrinsically involved in your brand and your messaging.  This way we get to ensure all content created is on brand, on target and reaches the right audience at the right time.

Outsourcing in a controlled way releases you from the stress of needing to continually create quality content and allows you to get on with running your business.

SUPPORT: Helping you to keep marketing on track.

The key to marketing success is momentum because momentum creates engagement, and engagement creates conversations.

Of course, it’s possible that you’ll want to take control and build an in-house marketing team in order to capitalise on the momentum we’ve created, and that would be an excellent natural progression. However, sometimes it’s easier to maintain momentum and quality control if the driving force is an external marketing consultant who has an objective, outside-in perspective and who understands the business. This will help maintain standards to drive the marketing forward. 

As your business evolves, so will your marketing activities. Budgets inevitably increase as sales grow, there will always be more to do, and new products and services will need a fresh approach in order to continually engage your audience and to keep your brand exposure on track. Above all, managing progressive, ongoing marketing campaigns requires commitment and motivation which can be easier if it’s coming from an outside consultant.

In Summary

The way people search for products, services, information and reviews continues to evolve, and if you’re not in control of what they find about your business, it can only be damaging long-term.

My experience working with companies across many aspects of their business, from brand development to communication, documentation to full exposure online, spans three decades. As a result, there will be many things I can help you with.

If you’ve been in business for some time, a marketing audit is the best place to start. It’s a snapshot of where you are now and provides the basis of a roadmap for where you want to be.

ANY QUESTIONS? WE'RE HERE TO HELP

Whether you'd like to discuss developing a marketing strategy or need help with one or more marketing or business development services, find out more about how we can help you.

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The Marketing Alliance is a trading name of Marketing Alliance Group Ltd. Registered in England and Wales, No. 10104213. VAT Number: GB 245 9880 61
Registered Office: Marketing Alliance Group Ltd., 34 Croydon Road, Caterham, Surrey, England, CR3 6QB.

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